Miso soup

Can you believe it’s been six years?

It feels good to say you’ve been following a series since chapter one and all the way to chapter 268 I’ve been in love with The World God Only Knows.  That’s not to say the series doesn’t have its faults. The last arc felt empty and purposeless. The last chapter leaves us a bit unsatisfied. The series that’s been brilliant so far leaves a sour taste in its final words.

What a familiar feeling.

Enough about the bad stuff, let’s talk good memories! My favourite girl (and de facto best girl) is Takahara Ayumi. Positive cheerful girls have often been my favourite and chapter 1 had me hooked. Favourite arc is probably Yui’s arc. I love how everything got turned around. Remember shogi girl? Wrestling teacher? Before the grand arcs there were a lot of fun stand-alone chapters and smaller conquests and a lot of them are worth rereading.

By the way, did you notice the (lack of) quality of the scans? Scanlation has come a long way since this series started. The older chapters look and feel very aged. Their style of translation is (or should be) taboo nowadays.

Things change over the course of 26 volumes and three anime seasons. As the series progressed, the author and/or the editors felt that the series needed to be grander and more ambitious to keep being serialized. That aspiration to heights also caused its demise, stretching the series thinner with each cliffhanger every week.

But I can’t fault ambition. So I will remember it fondly.

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Santa in the Pocket

Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket

I commend my secret santa for recommending me Lovely Complex, Simoun and Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket. As I expected, I could not last with the first two series (for Lovely Complex, I read the manga instead; for Simoun, it’s complicated). But War in the Pocket is short and sweet and certainly one I would’ve overlooked. Like 08th MS Team, which came after this, War in the Pocket takes on a different viewpoint and I always enjoy such a break from the standard.

It’s not often I watch an anime series older than myself. The staleness of most anime from the 80′s is something I have trouble dealing with. For similar reasons I struggle enjoying a lot of the older U.C. Gundams. I want to like them, I try my best to like them, but it’s so hard to like them. All of this actually doesn’t hold for War in the Pocket. Animation feels fluid and the story moves quickly, perhaps because the length of a six episode OVA series condenses everything. Either way, rigidness is not the reason I dislike War in the Pocket.

The reason is I really really hate children in anime.

I thought I disliked whiny teenagers, but ignorant kids topple everything for me. Alfred, our 11-year old main character takes the spotlight for most of the series and, frankly, seeing him come to terms with reality in the latter three episodes is one of the most satisfying things I could bear to watch. Certainly, feeling so annoyed with Al reinforces any feeling I get from the ending. In that sense, War in the Pocket has succeeded. Bravo! As much as I appreciate War in the Pocket for that, it’s not the kind of series I could ever bear to rewatch. Instead, I will remember its ending fondly: a soul crushing reality for an 11-year old kid, for whom we fight wars so they may stay ignorant.

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Secret Santa: House of Five Leaves

House of Five Leaves

For those who don’t know Secret Santa…

In my first year of participation, I got to choose between Tekkon Kinkreet, Manabi Straight, and House of Five Leaves. Since I’ve already been interested in the last one since a while ago, I decided to go with that. Both my and my santa’s hunch was right. This show is definitely one I’d recommend to all of you. Continue reading

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State of mind

In case you didn’t know, I joined this thing so you should all check it out (all 5 of you). Which leaves me with this blog.

I’m going to open it up for a bigger variety of topics. Where I previously limited myself to mostly anime, manga and light novel related topics, I’m also eager to talk about esports, musical endeavours, computer science and many such other things. Aside from that I still plan on blogging about the usual modern media of the far east, but you can expect posts with a bit more consistency on the previously mentioned Anime Audio Log.

And I also have an announcement for Christmas.

But until Christmas, there’s nothing planned. The usual business of daily life grabs me, illness, projects, social life and other demons.

That’s about it. See you on Christmas.

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Expectations of a genius

期待 きたい expectation; anticipation; hope
Common word, Noun, Suru verb SentencesKanji details

I would never say I’m smart, but if grades are any indication I have an aptitude for academic courses at the very least. I’ve had the pleasure of attending a good and rather elitist school for my secondary education. I go to a good university in which I perform as is expected of me. But the reason I would never say I’m smart is that I’ve met some really smart people. Continue reading

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Yay idolmaster

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Circlejerking

Let’s just get this over with. The one who started this all laid the rules down here. I won’t promise this won’t be an excuse to post pictures of Kotori.

First up are Reiseng’s questions:

1) How seriously do you take anime? Is anime something that you watch to learn or, do you just watch anime strictly for entertainment?

To quote my Latin teacher: “It’s never wrong to over-analyze.” Anime is still entertainment but entertainment can be found in many different areas. Learning is fun too! Analyzing is just a big part of what I do. If only I could write these things down on something like an online notebook I shared with others.

If only I could do it competently…

Continue reading

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Had a great night losing my podcasting virginity. Also, why does wordpress have a reblog button?

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Summer preview 2012: better than other previews.

Click for full size.

The Mona Lisa

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Hyouka: my favourite ice cream

I think other people say it best when, well, they always say it better:

I had a really bad impression of Hyouka when it first aired, but now, I think I can see why KyoAni decided to adapt it. The mysteries don’t feel unrealistically convoluted, while still being fairly intriguing. Like what they did with Nichijou, KyoAni also decided to be creative with their animation for Hyouka, giving the show a much-welcomed surreal feel.

@fkeroge, via Desu ex Machina

So far, Hyouka has been incredibly mundane. There are no gods, robots or retconners in sight. The mysteries concern neither killers nor conspiracies. The solutions are all quite… normal. Mundaneness has never been a problem for me and there’s something to be said about its persistence about keeping everything normal. Some people are already designating it as a slice-of-life rather than a mystery. And a part of me wants to agree with them.

I don’t really care for mysteries is what I’d say if I were lying. Recently having read Book Girl’s second volume, I still felt that pull that keeps the pages flipping. The as of yet only review on this blog is a favourable one of a mystery light novel. But still there’s something ephemeral about a “mystery”. And quite personally, I prefer the eternal over the ephemeral.

Then it might seem a bit weird why I would rather look at Hyouka as an SoL instead of a mystery. The good ones however tend to stick with me. Aria as the obvious one, the Clannad visual novel (SoL with a purpose; I have no good words for the anime). Even the more comedy focused ones like Lucky Star and this season’s Acchi Kocchi. I have ackc as my second favourite anime of the season (and you can guess the first; the hint is ice cream). These and more consistently rank highly on my list.

On the other hand, if you call something a mystery I expect some, you wouldn’t say, mystery to solve. Which is different from some mystery getting solved for you. Which is, I suppose, my entirely unreasonable expectation. And at the same time the reason mysteries don’t stick with me.

To elaborate, all of the mysteries so far have a rather arbitrary explanation behind them, concluded from facts held from us until the timing was right and the truth confirmed in an equally arbitrary fashion. This makes for rather shitty riddle solving from the viewer’s perspective, and a lot better storytelling. And a little bit more like how it’d work out in real life.

How boring. And wonderful.

A little credit to day[9], my esports hero. Important part starts at 1:22, the time I linked to, and ends at about 8:04. The extra :04 for the quote “screw life lessons, we just play video games”.

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